This article helps you register your DreamSpark account. Then it also helps you map that account to an account in the Windows Phone Dev Center.

In order to publish Windows Phone applications to the marketplace or to your own Windows Phone device, you would usually have to pay a U$ 99,00 yearly subscription, however, if you are a student that attends to an institute that participates on Microsoft Dreamspark program, you can register on Windows Phone Dev Center for free.

By the time of the writing of this wiki article, information on how to properly register for free on Windows Phone Dev Center was very sparse and a lot of information was missing on what to do and who is entitled to do it. Also, dreamspark website ( had some technical issues that prevented a proper registration and could mislead you to believe you wouldn't be entitled for a free registration or that your institute does not participate in the Dreamspark program.

Another concept that should be cleared up is how the different accounts work. First, you should know that Windows Phone Dev Center uses your Windows Live ID, that mean you will need to have your dreamspark account mapped to your Windows Live ID in order to register to Windows Phone Dev Center for free.

What is usually not clear is that even if you already have a dreamspark account in your institute, it's not the same as having an account at website. You will need to create a new account on dreamspark website and get it verified by using your institute's email.

So, basically you will need to have three accounts:

  1. A Windows Live ID - That's the account you use to sign in to most Microsoft service, like Hotmail, Sky Drive, MSDN Forums and so on...
  2. A verified account. You can use any of your private e-mail addresses here.
  3. An email account at a dreamspark participant institute, that is, your college, university or school.

Creating a verified Dreamspark Account.

The steps described in this section is only necessary if you don't have a verified account.

The First thing you should verify is whether you are entitled to have a free registration on Windows Phone Dev Center. You can do that at There, on the top right corner of the page you will find the "Dreamspark Subscription" box.

Due to the technical issues found on website, that's usually the only way to look up your institue (sometimes it works during registration process for your dreamspark account, but in my attempts, it mostly won't).

To verify whether your school is enrolled:

  1. Start typing in your institute's name. It's likely it will yield no results, but if it does show your school, it's enrolled. Write down the exact name displayed for your it, take note of the character case to be safe. You can skip step 2. However, if doesn't, click "Can't find your school?" on the little popup pane that will be displayed.

  2. A box will be displayed allowing you to select Country, State (if applicable), City (if applicable) and finally the institute. That's the only place I could successfully find my college.

  3. Find your institute on the drop-down list and write down the exact text on the drop-down. You can use that exact match to successfully create a dreamspark account when you're prompted for the institute name during registration. This way you can get verified by using your institue e-mail in the latter steps.

If you still can't find your institute, you will likely need to verify with your institute's administrator on how to get it listed on DreamSpark.

Creating your Dreamspark account

Go ahead and naviate to Here you can use any e-mail inbox you prefer, I used my main e-mail address. You will use it to login to your account. Also use here the institute name (exactly like you have written down from steps mentioned above) if you find yourself in the situation where the web page contains a bug and does not display your school in the appropriate field. 

It may happen that the website is fixed and you find your school in the registration form. If that's so you, can simply use the same steps used to verify if your school is enrolled, to actually select your school to create your account.

Verifying your Dreamspark account.

Once you have created your account, you will be prompted to enter your e-mail address on your school domain. The dreamspark website verifies if the e-mail address you informed belongs to the specified school's domain. That's why it's very important to have the correct school name upon registration.

After you have informed your e-mail address, an e-mail will be sent with the steps necessary to verify your Dreamspark account. It's fast and easy. After that you will have a verified e-mail dreamspark account.

Mapping your Dreamspark account

Once you have a verified DreamSpark account, you can get your windows live account mapped to it:

  1. Go to:
  2. Sign in with your verified DreamSpark account.
  3. Click the “Map your Accounts” button.
  4. Sign in with the Windows Live ID that you'd like to use to create your account on Windows Phone Dev Center. If you are already signed on to your Windows Live ID account this step will be completed automatically and there will be just a message informing that the mapping has been performed successfully.

After all these steps you will be able to setup Windows Phone Dev Center account to submit applications to the marketplace and setup your Windows Phone to accept deployments of your Windows Phone applications for free.



Thanks to Fabio Franco for helping us figure out all the details. Thanks also to the DreamSpark team for their support. This content originated from this forum thread.